high school graduate
Freshman camp, aka fish camp, is perfect for newcomers to get to know their school and other students (Image via Texas A&M University)

5 Things High School Graduates Should Do Before Starting College

Being a recent high school graduate is great and all, but now is the time to prepare for the next chapter of your academic life: college.
May 18, 2018
4 mins read

A big chapter of your life just ended and your future is filled with possibilities, which can be thrilling and terrifying. One of the most nerve wrecking parts is the unknown that is the first year of college, but there is a way to make the transition easier. Here is a list of things high school graduates should do before heading into the next chapter.

Clean Out Your Room

Though it may be hard to imagine, your childhood bedroom will soon become the bigger version of your families junk drawer. To make your move into your small dorm room less chaotic and your parent’s new dump zone less cluttered, the summer before college is the best time to spring clean.

Everyone only really wears five shirts and one pair of shoes that somehow goes with every outfit, but for some reason still holds on to the other clothes that have left the hanger maybe once.

As a high school graduate, you don’t know yet the hassle of transitioning to not only a smaller space but having to share it. Moving to a dorm, you will not have the room anymore to store the outfits that have never seen the light of day.

It’s time to put your big kid pants on and finally say goodbye to those extra clothes, shoes and accessories that exist for the sole purpose of taking up space.

Research Your New Home

Living most of your life in one city, you have go-to places for everything. Food, clothes, medicine and even where you go to maintain your car. Most things you don’t have to really think about on a daily basis, so researching substitutes for these establishments in your new home can make your transition there smoother.

Part of what makes your home feel safe is the maintained routine. Transferring your prescriptions to a pharmacy near your college, finding the local Whataburger, and locating the place to take your car for the important oil change is key to make you feel like you still have your routine even though you’re in a new place.

Apply For Jobs

As a high school graduate, you have heard stories of the broke college student and though it’s an overused stereotype, it is very much rooted in truth. You have to pay for tuition, books and the fun adventures you want to go on with friends, so getting a job is crucial.

To ease the tension that comes with starting college, applying for a job during the summer will help eliminate the worry and stress that comes with the searching process. You could walk into your new chapter knowing you will have the funds to not only survive but thrive.

Sign up for Fish Camp

Starting at a new unfamiliar place is always difficult especially when you’re doing it alone. Depending on the size of your hometown, as a high school graduate, the chance of beginning your new chapter without your friends is slim to none and that fact can be daunting.

Most colleges know this and arrange “fish camps.” A weekend dedicated for incoming freshmen to meet each other and to get to know their chosen university. Sign up for your school’s version immediately!

Though you may not meet your new besties, you will walk on to campus knowing someone, which is a comforting feeling. Plus you will be able to learn the history of the place you decided to be your new home and have the ability to fully participate in all their fun traditions.

Have One Last Hoorah

One of the hardest things about being a high school graduate is leaving behind friends you have known your whole life. Though you have every intention of staying in touch, deep down you know that may not be the case.

Instead of letting that add to your sadness, make it your mission to make the last months with your day ones the most memorable. Plan pool parties, set up brunch dates and even go on a road trip. Do everything you can to make going your separate ways exciting, not excruciating.

The to-do list of most high school graduates can seem almost like a short story, but adding the things mentioned will be worth it. Doing them can lead to a great start of this new chapter, so throw your cap in the air and begin preparing for your new, thrilling future.

Ana Greening, Texas State University

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Ana Greening

Texas State University

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